6. The road to hell, part 1

by | Oct 15, 2010 | Bulgarian life | 0 comments

It was very lovely once we got up there…


Before we head back to Sofia to start the paperwork, we spend a couple of days exploring the area around the village.

This afternoon we visited a monastery, perched almost at the top of a mountain up a long, windy track. It is quite beautiful and a real feat of engineering and construction. We enjoy wandering around and taking in the panoramic views. And the monk is excellent value. He is a youngish man with long shaggy hair. His mobile phone plays church bells when it rings. Seriously. He looks like he enjoys a good party. He looks like you may find him in the corner at 2am strumming a guitar and singing ‘No woman, no cry’. Our estate agent told us he had the monk do a blessing at his house warming party and apparently he was the first to get the dancing started.

So, monastery excellent; monk great. The worst thing about the trip was the drive up there. A long single track road – thankfully tarmacked –winding up the side of the mountain. On one side is a pretty steep drop and there are no crash barriers. At regular intervals we meet oncoming cars coming down (we think we must have accidentally timed our visit with the end of a service). The Bulgarian drivers speed on by and wave cheerily as I edge on to the verge, literally weeping into my steering wheel. It was a scary drive up, made only scarier by the thought of driving back down. Apparently, the last monk went a bit crazy and threatened to shoot a few people. The police had to bring him down in the end. I’m not surprised he went a bit loony. Imagine negotiating that road every time you need some loo roll or muesli. Do monks use loo roll? Anyway, I sympathise with the poor old dude. I almost needed an armed escort to get me back down that road. But we made it down in one piece in the end.

Hopefully we can tempt the new monk down for a house blessing of our own one day. I’ll have to give him a bell…


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